Welcome to 2019! If you’re like most Americans you have made resolutions to exercise more, lose weight and get organized. Why is getting organized so high on the list of things to accomplish? It could be because it has been nagging at you for so long. You know you could do more if only you didn’t have to contend with so much clutter and disorder. Studies support this. Neuroscientists at Princeton have shown that clutter has a negative impact on your ability to be productive and focus. It bombards the brain with unimportant information. Psychologists at UCLA confirmed this with a study of families and their clutter... Read the rest
The Guiness World Record for the “Most Holiday Lights” belongs to David Richards in Canberra, Australia. His display has almost 1.2 million LED lights strung on 75 miles of cable. The most lights on a residential property is 601,736 lights held by Tim and Grace Gay in LaGrangeville, New York. Their display spans two acres and takes two months for their entire family to rebuild each year. Most of us don’t come close to having this amount of lights, but many of us do amass our own large holiday collections. It can be a lot of work to drag out all the boxes and hang the lights and decorations... Read the rest
Modern couples typically do not order china and crystal for their wedding registries, or at least not like the old days. In fact, couples are marrying at older ages now and prefer online registries at places like Amazon, Home Depot or Honeyfund (for honeymoon trips). Many Millennials are choosing experiences, not seldom-used items that merely take up valuable space. We remember visiting older relatives and seeing the china and crystal in museum-like china cabinets. Then, it was passed down. Ask anyone. They will tell you about that box of china they have in the attic or garage or some inaccessible place in the kitchen... Read the rest
Does your playroom look like a tornado has hit? Do you find toys everywhere in your home? Are you constantly stepping on Legos or picking up puzzle pieces? I can relate. Having had three children in a ten year span, I know what having too many toys looks like. When my youngest was a toddler and the oldest was in junior high school, there were tons of toys for all age groups all over the floor of my house. I also had a girl and two boys which meant having additional toys to please each gender. I fell prey to the marketing of the era... Read the rest
Make the Heart of Your Home Easier to Use
The kitchen is the heart of your home. It is increasingly being used for multiple purposes. It’s where family and visitors gather to prepare meals, have conversations, and build memories. As our lives become more casual, the kitchen becomes more important. It is the central meeting area for the family. By following some simple rules of accessibility you can make your kitchen one that is more comfortable and easy to use for everyone. Universal Design principles will reduce fatigue and allow for safer and more efficient use of your kitchen.
To start, the layout should be one that allows for flow through the three major areas of use: the refrigerator, the sink and the cooking area (stove, oven or microwave)... Read the rest
I have many pleasant memories of camping with my family – the beach, hiking, fishing and eating around the campfire. Everyone would dutifully unload the car upon our return, but then everyone would disappear. Somehow, it always fell upon mom to clean the camping supplies and put them away. I remember trying to put everything back where it came from, but somehow, it wouldn’t fit on the same garage shelves. How was this possible? Wasn’t it there before? Well, yes and no. We always seemed to buy new camp gear during each trip although we kept all the old gear for back-up... Read the rest
It dawned on me when I started moving the last time. I was in my kitchen and packed three full boxes of coffee cups. What? How was this possible? Where did they all come from? I started examining them. It all started with a cute matching pair of cups that I bought for me and my husband as newlyweds forty years ago. They had roadrunners on them (we lived in Tucson, Arizona at the time). They were beautiful – with muted desert colors and cactus. Since that first pair of cups, I had moved to six states, had three children and many different jobs... Read the rest
The American garage is a catch-all repository of junk. It is the storage spillover area of the home. When the house can no longer contain them, it’s all there – rejected furniture, used appliances, defunct electronics, toys, and boxes of old clothes. This is in addition to the usual items stored there: tools, lawn equipment, automotive items, camping gear, sports equipment and sometimes recycling. Trying to get everything to fit and stay neat is a challenge.
Accessibility for your garage begins with being able to get into it easily. Most modern garage doors have automatic openers, these are equipped with electronic sensors to prevent the door from closing on people or objects... Read the rest
I admit it. I was a reusable bag junkie. It started when I was a sustainability officer for a large company. Reusable bags were better for the environment. Using them made me feel better about myself. So, I started collecting them. There were only a few at first. They came from grocery stores, department stores, fairs, festivals, business meetings, and volunteer groups. Everyone wanted to have their company name and logo on a bag and I gladly supported them by taking their bags. Too many bags. Pretty soon, my back seat floorboard was full and overflowing onto the seat. It was a problem for people riding in my car... Read the rest
Color coding is one of our favorite strategies for simplifying moves. We love using color so much that we use this strategy on every move we organize (that’s a lot of stickies!). Let’s face it, moving everything you own is no small feat, especially if you are moving into a smaller space. Most often there are items that need to go to multiple destinations (such as your new home, a storeroom, the homes of family members, consignment shops and donation collection spots), as well as items that still need to be sorted and things that someone else needs to look at... Read the rest